Friday at noon time, after we had finished working, my wife and I drove towards Allgäu. Noone else of the running club LG Würzburg had time or felt like taking part at the German championship in Ultratrail running. At about 7pm, after 3,5 hours, we arrived in Graichau. The race briefing as well as the pasta party had already started. I picked up my start number and went for some pasta. After that snack we went for dinner at an Italian restaurant. Later we drove towards Ehrwald which was the start place for the German championship the next morning. They offered five different courses: a 101km Ultratrail, a 81.4km Supertrail XL, a 63.8km Supertrail, a 39.3 Basetrail XL and a 24.9km Basetrail. Each course started at a different time at a different place and the courses merged with the 101km, so that all had their finishing line in Graichau. We spend the night in the car, which was quiet comfortable with our new seven seater.
The next morning the clock rang at 5:30am. I prepared my running equipment and we went to the start. Located just next to the start line was a bakery. I think they made the best deal of their life. After we had a good breakfast, some small talks with other runners, and took some photos, we went to the check-in. Something special at this race was that every runner needs to carry drinks, food, long cloth, rain cover, flashlight, map, and a first-aid-kid. Even though it was kind of annoying, it made sense at such a hard mountain race. In the mountains the weather could change very fast and due to the high altitudes it can take a long time to do a short distance. Aid stations where set up every 8-10km. Based on the profile it can easily take a runner 2-3 hours to reach the next one.
The start was at 8am . Just after the start the 200 runners had to accomplish their first hill. The Supertrail XL had three huge uphills. One uphill had about 1200 altitudes, one had about 600 altitudes and the third one had again about 1200 altitudes. While the first two uphills where located at the first 30km, the last one started after 60km. Most of the uphills where on small paths and therefore it was difficult to bypass other runners. That is why most runners started fast to be in the front at this parts. I did not over speed in the beginning and started slowly to have enough strength for the last uphill. This worked out quite well. When I arrived at the first aid station it was getting obvious that this was not a standard race. Besides the usual support (bananas, cracker, nuts,...) there was also melon, salami, cheese and many hefty snacks. There were no cups and every runner had to carry his own, which was a bit annoying. But it made sense for environmental reasons. Having somebody going through the entire course to clean it up would be difficult. And to be honest, I do not want to be such a person. It is understood that people throw their garbage away, even they are asked many times not to do so. Instead of a cup I carried a small bottle. This made it possible to have something to drink between the aid stations. Besides, I had my camel bag with more drinks. This made it possible that I did not have to fill up the 1,5l drinking bag and even had some left in the end. Another reason that I do not have to fill up was that the temperatures were not very high. It was not to hot, but warm enough that runners did not have to wear their jacket at the summits. Well, I have to admit that I still put on my arm sleeves since I get cold quite easy. Another advantage of the weather was, that we had wonderful vision to the mountain panorama. We had an excellent view to the hills and valleys around, which made it even nicer to run. After 40k I caught up to Dieter Ulbricht. We ran together for a while and paced each other. When we started to do the last big uphill he fell back. At this point I was still hoping to finish in less than 11 hours, but the last hill takes its toil. So I was happy to arrive at the top. An aid station was located about 300 altitudes before the summit. This aid station we had to bypass twice. Later a friend, which ran the 101km, told me that he had to wait during the night at this aid station since the loop was closed due to strong fog. By that time I already had been finished for a long time, had showered, and was driving on the way back home. As already said, I was very lucky with the weather conditions. Also the rain of the last days was not visible anymore. Most of the course was dry and only at a few spots it was slippery. Most slippery were the two snow fields we had to pass at the decent of the first hill.